Leather products from Ethiopia

Do you have a leather products business in Ethiopia? Are you interested in an improved market position in the EU? The Netherlands Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) can show you the way. Our Business Export Coaching programmes have already guided multiple exporting organizations in for example Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Pakistan, Peru, Myanmar, and Vietnam in the apparel sector towards successful business relations with European clients. If you are interested in an improved market position in the EU, CBI’s Leather products programme offers you good opportunities:

  • Find out which opportunities there are for your company on the European markets;
  • Learn more about requirements, legislation and certification;
  • Learn everything you need to know to be a successful exporter;
  • Get support and assistance from our sector expert;
  • Exhibit at a leading international trade fair.

The deadline for applications was 30 June 2020

Programme details

The programme begins in 2019 and will end in 2024. Before starting the programme we researched this sector. The last two decades have witnessed a sharp increase in the imports of leather and leather products by the EU, particularly those of chrome free leather products and footwear. Ethiopia is known for its finished leather and the Ethiopian value chain has huge potential for export growth and the creation of employment. Relevant international and governmental initiatives (PUM, Solidaridad, Stahl & MVO NL) also offer sound collaboration opportunities to position Ethiopia as a sustainable sourcing destination.

What can you expect from a CBI programme?

CBI offers technical assistance through a practical Business Export Coaching programme designed for (aspiring) exporting small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the leather products sector from Ethiopia. CBI prepares your company with the skills and knowledge you need to enter into the mid and mid high (end) segments of the European market by providing you with:

  • One-on-one multiple year coaching for you and your staff on doing business in the European market, aimed at your specific needs, by highly qualified CBI experts;
  • Training courses about specific subjects, such as Market Access Requirements, certification and developing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan;
  • Participation in the one-week Market Orientation Mission to Europe;
  •  Assistance with developing your Export Marketing Plan;
  • Assistance in what certification is suitable to your market entry strategy and coaching to obtain the certification you need;
  • Assistance with implementation of your CSR Action Plan;
  • Participation in and guidance in preparation for leading international trade fairs or other market entry activities, such as international buyers’ missions;
  • Training on Market Consolidation after the trade fairs and export marketing mission.

What do we expect from you as a participant?

CBI is looking for ambitious and highly motivated SMEs that are:

  • Pro-active with a flexible attitude;
  • Fully committed to the activities and external coaching throughout the programme;
  • Willing to pay for costs related to activities such as part of the costs for trade fair participation and sustainability activities (CBI and its partners do not cover costs of traveling, lodging and sending in samples);
  • Willing to participate with dedicated and qualified people in all CBI visits, workshops and trainings (please note that all activities will be in English);
  • Showing eagerness to actively pursue knowledge on the subjects discussed during the individual support meetings, workshops and trainings;
  • Sufficient time investment to the tailor made action plan for your company;
  • Willing to inform CBI about the company’s progress in terms of export and sustainability (CBI will treat the provided information as confidential);
  • Committed to invest in necessary adaptations such as product assortment and production processes, also in terms of staff allocation, to become successful on the European market and to increase overall sustainability;
  • Willing to provide CBI and its partners with the company’s name, logo and achievements for promotion of the programme.

Who can participate in the programme?

The programme is designed for ambitious (aspiring) leather products manufacturers from Ethiopia who are eager to expand their export activities to the European market and fit the following profile:

  • Offer leather and leather products that fall within one of the following categories:
    - Footwear
    - Handbags
    - Gloves
    - Accessories
  • SMEs  with up to 500 employees;
  • At least 51% Ethiopian ownership*;
  • No joint venture with a company based in a country with a classification of LMIC or higher;
  • Compliance or the willingness to comply with EU market requirements;
  • No licensing commitments that prohibit or limit export possibilities of products to the EU;
  • Competitive prices and sufficient production capacity;
  • Management which is able to communicate in English;
  • No licensing commitments that prohibit or limit export possibilities of products to the European market.

Selection of participants will take place based on evaluation of the applicant companies by CBI experts on the above criteria and consultation with CBI partner organizations in each country.


Most costs will be financed by CBI. The following costs will have to be borne by participants:

  • Flights and other travel expenses in case of European trade show activities (NB: except for the Market Orientation Mission, which will be fully financed by CBI);
  • Domestic travel expenses in case of training outside your city of residence;
  • No participation fee has to be paid.


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CBI’s interventions will be complementary to the interventions of the Green Tanning Initiative (GTI) of the Dutch Consortium of MVO NL, Solidaridad and Stahl. CBI will also collaborate with Netherlands Senior Experts (PUM), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and local stakeholders of the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA), the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) and the Ethiopian government.


For questions or more information please contact us at consumer@cbi.eu

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Programma Manager

Hugo Verhoeven
+31 (0)88 04 24341
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